Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Fun Contest

Fun contest to enjoy. 5 Minutes for Mom is having a contest where you can win this cool Philips digital photo frame. These are the neatest things!! This is a great way to show off all your digital pictures

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Study: Religion is Good for Kids

I know some will think this is cheating, but I thought this was a very interesting article. I put it in my blog in case you did not get it in the email. I am also very tired to think of anything to write about.

By Melinda Wenner
Kids with religious parents are better behaved and adjusted than other children, according to a new study that is the first to look at the effects of religion on young child development.
The conflict that arises when parents regularly argue over their faith at home, however, has the opposite effect.
John Bartkowski, a Mississippi State University sociologist and his colleagues asked the parents and teachers of more than 16,000 kids, most of them first-graders, to rate how much self control they believed the kids had, how often they exhibited poor or unhappy behavior and how well they respected and worked with their peers.
The researchers compared these scores to how frequently the children’s parents said they attended worship services, talked about religion with their child and argued abut religion in the home.
The kids whose parents regularly attended religious services — especially when both parents did so frequently — and talked with their kids about religion were rated by both parents and teachers as having better self-control, social skills and approaches to learning than kids with non-religious parents.
But when parents argued frequently about religion, the children were more likely to have problems. “Religion can hurt if faith is a source of conflict or tension in the family,” Bartkowski noted.
Why so good?
Bartkowski thinks religion can be good for kids for three reasons. First, religious networks provide social support to parents, he said, and this can improve their parenting skills. Children who are brought into such networks and hear parental messages reinforced by other adults may also “take more to heart the messages that they get in the home,” he said.
Secondly, the types of values and norms that circulate in religious congregations tend to be self-sacrificing and pro-family, Bartkowski told LiveScience. These “could be very, very important in shaping how parents relate to their kids, and then how children develop in response,” he said.
Finally, religious organizations imbue parenting with sacred meaning and significance, he said.
University of Virginia sociologist W. Bradford Wilcox, who was not involved in the study, agrees. At least for the most religious parents, “getting their kids into heaven is more important than getting their kids into Harvard,” Wilcox said.
But as for why religious organizations might provide more of a boost to family life than secular organizations designed to do the same thing, that’s still somewhat of a mystery, said Annette Mahoney, a psychologist at Bowling Green State University in Ohio, also not involved in the research. Mahoney wondered: “Is there anything about religion and spirituality that sets it apart?”
Unanswered questions
Bartkowski points out that one limitation of his study, to be published in the journal Social Science Research, is that it did not compare how denominations differed with regards to their effects on kids.
“We really don’t know if conservative Protestant kids are behaving better than Catholic kids or behaving better than mainline Protestant kids or Jewish kids,” he said.
It’s also possible that the correlation between religion and child development is the other way around, he said. In other words, instead of religion having a positive effect on youth, maybe the parents of only the best behaved children feel comfortable in a religious congregation.
“There are certain expectations about children’s behavior within a religious context, particularly within religious worship services,” he said. These expectations might frustrate parents, he said, and make congregational worship “a less viable option if they feel their kids are really poorly behaved.”

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Quick Update

WE ARE OFFICIAL HOMEOWNERS!!! Park Trails will never be the same when the Dears move to the neighborhood. Anyone for a painting/moving party?

We are just very excited and thankful that God has provided this new home for us, and we want to give Him praise for it. PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Happy Easter

I know I am late posting this, but with all the packing and school I am just behind on a few things. Yes, that is snow you see in the picture. I took this picture before we left for church. It was cold outside, so I told the girls to run out there real quick and I will take the picture before you get too cold. I wanted you to see their beautiful dresses before they had to put on their winter coats. Funny, I thought spring was to be warm.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Amazing Grace - My Chains are Gone!!

I decided to post this because I feel this is just the most powerful song. I know I had the link in an earlier post, but I was able to find this on youtube and post it directly on the blog. Everytime I hear this version, I just about cry. At this time of year, Amazing Grace should ring true with all Christians. It is true what Chris says in this song "my chains are gone, I've been set free". We should live like free people and not slave to what intangles us. This Easter we should be thankful for that "AMAZING GRACE" that was secured for us on the cross and in Christ's resurrection. HAPPY EASTER CHRISTIANS!!

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, Amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine

You are forever mine